Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson or R. A. W. (born January 18, 1932) is a futurist thinker, libertarian, and author of the Schrödinger's Cat trilogy (1979), a complex spoof of conspiracy theories.

He also co-authored (with Robert Shea) the Illuminatus! trilogy (1975), which humorously examined American paranoia about conspiracies. These books mix true information with imaginative fiction to engage the reader in what Wilson called "Operation Mindfuck." (Much of the odder material was derived from letters sent to Playboy magazine while Shea and Wilson were working as editors there.) In Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati (1977), he made Discordianism, Sufism, futurism, the Illuminati and other esoteric or counter-culture philosophies accessible to larger audiences. He is also a proponent of Timothy Leary's eight-brain circuit model and neurosomatic/lingustic engineering, which he writes about in Prometheus Rising (1983) and Quantum Psychology (1990), books of practical techniques to break free of one's "reality tunnels," though he is a vociferous critic of James Randi's efforts to break the reality tunnels for which Wilson feels affection. With Leary he helped promote the futurist ideas of space migration, life extension, and intelligence enhancement technologies); he is a more cogent and persuasive exponent of Leary's "imprinting circuit" theory of psychological development than Leary was himself.

Other fictional books by Wilson include The Earth Will Shake (1982) and Reality Is What You Can Get Away With (1996). His nonfiction books include Quantum Psychology, The New Inquisition (1994), and two other volumes of Cosmic Trigger. He and Miriam Joan Hill co-wrote Everything Is Under Control: Conspiracies, Cults, and Cover-Ups (1998), an encyclopedia of conspiracy theories.

In a 2003 interview with High Times magazine, R.A.W. called himself a "Model Agnostic" - a term physicists use to describe someone who does not follow any one model of how the world works 100%. Wilson says that he is the first to apply this to the social sciences.

External links and references


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